CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The City of Charleston’s plans to expand Joe Riley Waterfront Park are in the works. The end goal of the project is to provide as much waterfront access to the public as possible.
“Any chance we have to provide public access to anybody who can access that edge has always been a goal of the city,” said Jason Kronsberg, Director of Parks for the City of Charleston.
As joint partners with Lowe to expand waterfront park, the city has plans to add onto the park’s north side after The Cooper Hotel is constructed.
“(The park expansion) is going to be fully publicly accessible, there’s going to be gardens and there will be a waterfront promenade that matches the existing promenade on waterfront park,” said Kronsberg.
On the park’s south end, the city wants to connect the park with Hazel Parker Playground.
“Through this property connecting it up with Hazel Parker Playground. Creating that opportunity to ring the peninsula in a public trail and open space,” said Kronsberg.
There is a roadblock in the way of a funded construction project for expansion. The land between the end of the park and Hazel Parker Playground is privately owned, but the city is trying to obtain the land.
During a recent city council meeting, the city’s attorneys were instructed to acquire the property by any legal means necessary. This means that the city cannot move forward with the other part of its expansion plans yet.
“We just know that it’s a goal. If the property acquisition comes to fruition and a project gets funded we will look at how to tie in this piece of land into Waterfront Park and keep it the same characteristic and design,” said Kronsberg.